3 Up, 3 Down

We share three positives from SMU's loss and three negatives!

3 UP

1. Field Goal Game

It was another solid game for the Mustangs' senior kicker. Chase Hover banked in a 42 and 47-yard field goal for the Mustangs and has been one of the few consistent players on the SMU team. Hover has showed poise and plenty of leg strength and his kick right before the half went straight down the middle of the uprights. If the SMU offense continues to struggle this year, Hover may put together a very nice senior portfolio.

2. No Injuries

It seems that the injury bug was friendly to SMU tonight. A few guys were nicked up but each of them eventually returned to the field. SMU fans see firsthand the negative affect that the absence of Randall Joyner and Traylon Shead has had on the team. The Mustangs simply could not afford to lose any more of their players whether they were starters or depth providers. Luckily for them, all indications point to no serious injuries.

3. Keenan Holman

The senior from Beaumont, Texas finally showed up. Keenan Holman was Garrett Gilbert's favorite receiver tonight, racking up 10 receptions for 133 yards and the Mustangs' only touchdown. Holman could have easily gone for more yardage if Gilbert had not over thrown him on multiple occasions. The outside receiver position has not been productive at all as of late so it was refreshing to see a player not named Joseph or Johnson catching the football. Holman has wanted to step up and take a leadership role within the offense and today he earned the trust of the coaching staff and respect of the fans.

3 DOWN

1. Penalties

Why SMU committed 16 penalties is absolutely unfathomable. It isn't like they were unaware that they were going up against Johnny Manziel and one of the best offenses in the country. They couldn't have been unaware that they were going to have to play mistake free football in order to get a win in one of the most hostile environments in college football. And yet and still, they did the exact opposite of play mistake-free football. The members of the offensive line were repeat offenders of false starts and holding penalties. There was another 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty, which is starting to become a trend for SMU. There is simply no excuse for SMU to have earned 111 yards in penalties against the Aggies. This was one of the most undisciplined games in recent memory.

2. Defense

The SMU defense could find no answer to Johnny Manziel and his well-oiled machine of an offense. Both on the ground and through the air, Johnny Football torched the SMU secondary and at times, it just looked too easy. This was not unforeseen of course, after all, Manziel is the leading candidate for the Heisman once again. But the defensive line did a poor job of creating pressure, there were wide receivers habitually wide open in the secondary, and Manziel, Molena, Williams and Carson all had their way with the SMU defensive linemen and linebackers. As we all saw last week when Alabama visited Kyle Field, there isn't much you can do against Texas A&M's brightest star, but the SMU defense was manhandled all night long.

3. Offense

The SMU offense did not live up to expectations once again. The offensive line didn't start off too terrible but as the game progressed, more and more pressure was put on Gilbert. The penalties along the line didn't help either. The running game was also a non factor. It was anticipated that the running backs wouldn't get much work due to the Mustangs playing catch up and that presumption proved to be accurate. The statistics won't show that Gilbert had that bad of a game but when the Mustangs needed a big play, he didn't get it done. He overthrew a number of his receivers as well, some of them in good position to score. At times, Gilbert looked like he was doing a decent job of driving the offense but once SMU got in Aggie territory it was the same sad story. No points. Against a not-that-great A&M defense, the offense should have been able to do more. The bottom line is, for an offense that puts the ball in the air as much as SMU does, the results have been unsatisfactory.

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